Burnley defender Luke O’Neill has joined Leyton Orient on loan until the end of the season. The 23 year-old has already had a loan spell with Scunthorpe United at the beginning of this season. O’Neill has spent most of his career at right back but he is capable of playng in other defensive positions.
[textmarker color=”E00202″ type=”background color”]Alex Cisak[/textmarker]
Height: 183 cm (6’0″)
Career Apps: 108
Luke O’Neill began his career with Leicester City. He was a part of the Foxes’ youth side that won the FA Premier Academy League in 2006/07 along with Burnley (and now Orient) teammate Alex Cisak. O’Neill graduated to the first team in July 2008 and signed a three-year pro contract. His senior debut followed in September in the Football League Trophy win over Hartlepool.
O’Neill made just two appearances for Leceister in the first half of the 2009/10 season and as result he was loaned to Tranmere Rovers in February 2010. During his one-month spell at the club he made 4 appearances.
He was loaned out again a year later as opportunities at Leicester continued to be hard to come by. Kettering Town signed him on a one-month loan deal in February 2011. O’Neill scored his first senior goal in just his second appearance for the Poppies and his deal was later extended until the end of the 2010/11 campaign. He played 19 games during his time with Kettering and his second goal came in his final appearance for the club in the 3-1 win over Southport.
In June 2011, O’Neill moved on free transfer to Mansfield Town. It was with the Conference Premier side that Luke first played regular senior football over the course of a season, making 45 appearances during which he scored three goals as the Stags reached the Conference Play-offs.
After just a season of non-league football at Field Mill, O’Neill attracted attention from Championship clubs. In June 2012 Burnley eventually signed the defender, despite Mansfield rejecting their initial offer. He made his Clarets debut in the League Cup against Plymouth in August, but he featured just once more in 2012/13, coming on as a late substitute against Ipswich in May.
O’Neill didn’t feature for Burnley at the start last season either. In October 2013 he joined York City on an emergency loan deal (which was later extended). He made 16 appearances for the Minstermen, scoring one goal before returning to Turf Moor in January.
He was then loaned out to Southend United for a month, but he made just one appearance for the Shrimpers.
At the start of this season O’Neill joined Scunthorpe United on loan. He appeared in 15 games for the Iron, including the defeat to the O’s in September, however he hasn’t played since the beginning of November.
O’Neill has also been capped by England at youth level, winning 9 caps in 2007/08.
Elliot Omozusi and Scott Cuthbert have both been on the sidelines recently so O’Neill’s arrival will add to Fabio Liverani’s defensive options. He will wear the number 26 shirt during his time with the O’s.